by Lea Pachta

A new indicator which examines people’s communication styles has been launched — aiming to put an end to dysfunctional work teams for good.

The Think Feel Know (TFK) indicator shows how we interpret and communicate information based on the way we use the three innate communication styles of thinking, feeling and knowing.

Although we use all three styles, we tend to function in one most of the time and the TFK indicator shows where our natural preferences lie.

The indicator brings together the principles of an existing TFK coaching approach in an online questionnaire format that produces easy to understand feedback. Both have been developed by TFK coaches who have delivered coaching programmes to over 600 companies across the UK, USA and Australia over the last 10 years.

James McCarthy, CEO at Think Feel Know Coaching, said “Lack of understanding and poor communication can lead to breakdowns in team relationships creating a counter productive working environment.

“The TFK approach is simple — it’s about getting to know yourself and the people around you. Once you can recognise and understand other peoples’ communication styles, you can connect with them more easily and so have a greater chance of being aligned and understood. Businesses can use TFK to initiate training and development sessions and followed by coaching, we can help them overcome communications problems with a long-term and robust approach.”

Typical behavioural characteristics are attached to each of the styles – 
• Think — you like to receive data, absorb all the details and go about life in a methodical and logical way. You like to have all the facts before acting. 
• Feel — you are attuned to other people’s energy and consider this before making decisions. You empathise with others and are sensitive to their moods. 
• Know — you make decisions quickly and based on gut instinct. You are straight down the line.

Iain McMath, Managing Director of Sodexo Motivation Solutions, the employee benefits and rewards company, added “I implemented TFK at board level because our senior team meetings were not delivering the outcomes they should have been. The indicator showed we were a team of two knowers, two thinkers and a feeler and just knowing this meant we could start to understand how and why we each communicated as we did.

“We now tailor our approaches accordingly and everyone on the board gets documents in a format suited to their style — it means meetings are shorter and decisions are made quicker and more accurately. It’s had such an impact that all 100 of our employees have taken the indicator and the results have been integral in looking at how we function as a business and how we can become better.”

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